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Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and with an average annual GDP growth rate of over 5% is on track to become the fifth largest economy by the end of 2012. In addition to this Brazil has already secured its position as having the largest economy in Latin America and the second largest in the western hemisphere. A contributing factor to this growth is due to the fact Brazil is the words largest exporter of precious iron ore and soya and will soon take the mantel as the largest exporter of frozen meat products. 

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world with a population in excess of 200 million and so it is vital you understand the geological layout of the country, the three respective time zones and the areas you intend to visit to ensure your time there is productive.

The 26 states and the Federal District are divided into five regions; North, Northeast, Southeast, South and Center-West with the Southeast being the business hub of Brazil due to the megacities Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro residing there. In fact Sao Paulo proudly represents nearly every industry of Brazil making it the busiest most influential city within Brazil. Throughout Brazil there is evidently a wide gap between the rich and poor. Much of the arable land is controlled by a handful of wealthy families, a situation which the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) seeks to redress by demanding land redistribution. Social conditions can be harsh in the big cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, where a third of the population lives in slums.

There has been considerable damage done to the rainforest following a drive in the 1970s to move settlers to the Amazon. Deforestation by loggers and cattle ranchers remains controversial, but government-sponsored programs have been set up to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

In regards to business within Brazil, it is important to understand the culture and the day to day ways business transactions are handled.

For example, as is customary in the UK, when meeting a business associate it is polite to shake ones hand as a formal greeting gesture. This is known in Brazil to be accompanied with a kiss on the cheeks by males and females alike or a gentle slap on the back by males.

Practising business in Brazil is a type of social interaction and so please bear this in mind when you are in the midst of a meeting. Getting to the point and talking straight business prior to social discussions can be deemed rude and so remember to get acquainted with your counterpart first and foremost.

UK passport holders do not require a visa to enter Brazil. However, as with all travel outside of the UK passports must be valid for at least six months and a return ticket and proof of sufficient funds may be requested on arrival. Tourists will be admitted for a stay of up to 90 days which is extendable, at the discretion of the Federal Police, for a further 90 days.

Tourists are not permitted to work.As to when to travel to Brazil, the seasons are the reverse of those of Europe and the United States and although there are four seasons, the majority of Brazil follows a two season rule of thumb, the rainy season (summer) and the non-rainy season (winter).


Key facts:

  • Capital: Brasilia
  • Population: 
  • 211,837,183
  • Area: 8,515,000 km²
  • Currency: Brazilian Real 
  • International Dialling Code: +55
  • Official Language: Portuguese (contrary to the popular misconception, Brazil is the only Portuguese speaking country in South America)
  • Main Exports: transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos
  • Ports: Fortaleza, Gebig, Itaji, Natal, Pecem,Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande, San Sebasttiao, Santos, Santos, Suape, Vitoria
  • Time Difference: Brasilia is +04:00 ahead of London


Tops Tips

  • When visiting Brazil, it can be extremely beneficial to take with you a letter of introduction which should be carried upon your person at all times
  • Initially always refer to your associates as “O Senhor” for a man and “A Senhora” for a woman to avoid causing any offense. The words “Seu” and “Dona” are also used when addressing someone, “Seu” is used before the first name of a man and likewise for women using the word “Dona”. 
  • Topics of conversation with business associates and individuals you have recently met should be limited to the weather, sport, music and the arts. 
  • Do not rely on emails to give information. Follow things up with a phone call or a meeting to discuss the matter in greater detail.

Official Season Clarification: 
Spring: September – December 
Summer: December – March 
Autumn: March – June 
Winter: June – September

Please Note: The information detailed within the contents of this website is to the best of Neptune Shipping Agency’s Ltd knowledge at the time of inputting and should not under any circumstances be exclusively used in its entirety as fact in forming a decision.

Neptune Shipping Agency Ltd reserve the right to amend any information where they see fit without giving prior notice to its visitors.

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